Rome braces itself for ‘2000 hooligans’ ahead of Chelsea match

The Local Italy
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Rome braces itself for ‘2000 hooligans’ ahead of Chelsea match
Security will be tight at Rome's Olympic Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday night over fears of hooliganism. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Security will be in full force at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night over fears there could be trouble as an estimated 2000 Chelsea football fans travel to the city to see their team take on AS Roma in a Champions League clash.


Authorities are expecting ‘2000 English hooligans’ to attend the game, according to reports in the Italian press. Some 1,500 police officers and 1,000 stewards will patrol the event, which kicks off at 8.45pm.

Security staff will accompany the Chelsea supporters by coach to the game from Piazzale della Canestre near the Villa Borghese.

The fears come after Roma fans clashed with police in London ahead of their team’s fixture with Chelsea on October 18th, which ended in a 3-3 draw.

The same security measures will be in place on Wednesday night when 1,000 French fans are expected to travel to the Olympic Stadium to watch a Europa League game between Nice and Lazio.

Italian football continues to be severely blighted by often violent hooliganism by gangs of so-called ultras.

Ciro Esposito, a Napoli fan, was shot by a Roma ultra ahead of his team’s Italy Cup final game against Fiorentina in May 2014. He died of his injuries 53 days later. Daniele De Santis was handed a 16-year sentence, reduced from 26 years upon appeal, for the killing earlier this year. 

Meanwhile, at least five police were injured trying to break up a string of clashes between Roma and Napoli ultras in the hours before the match.


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